75 years is a long time – imagine visiting a place where you were born and had to leave, for the first time after so many years.
Sol Nayman is a Polish Jew living in Toronto. He was born in 1935 in Stoczek Wegrowski, or Stok (as most Jews referred to it), Poland to Yudel Najman and Sore Roize Rosenberg; his older sister Mania was born in 1928. He was four years old when Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany in 1939. His family, in despair to survive, had no choice but to flee – they ended up in the Soviet Union and spent 5 years in inhumane conditions in a labour camp. Miraculously, they all survived. After the war, via Ukraine, Lower Silesia and A DP camp in Germany, they emigrated to Canada, where Sol had a very successful career and raised a wonderful family.
Last year Sol did what many people from his generation warned him against doing – he visited Poland for the very first time, going with his grandson on the annual March of the Living, where Jews from all over the world, mostly Jewish youth, visit Poland and places where millions perished. There he wrote and read out at the Majdanek camp a letter to Hitler et al. To hear it, listen to Episode 39.
ZADIE’S STORY – the story of Sol Nayman’s life, dedicated to his grandchildren
Sol’s mission is to talk to young people about the Holocaust. He often visits schools.
On March of the Living – listen to POLcast’s interviews with Eli Rubenstein, national Director of the March of the Living: Episode 14 – part 1 and Episode 15 – part 2
MORE from POLcast’s interview with Sol Nayman
On Stalin and the Soviets:
On being in Poland on May 3rd, Polish national holiday:
On meeting grandchildren of the Righteous Among the Nations in Warsaw:
On this year’s planned visit to Poland: